By Keith Idec
Joe Higgins knows his comparison created an unrealistic expectation.
Sean Monaghan’s trainer still is certain his boxer and Sullivan Barrera will produce an all-action slugfest when they fight Saturday night in Brooklyn. Higgins predicted during a recent conference call that Cuba’s Barrera and Long Island’s Monaghan might need to fight two or three times, just like the late Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward did in 2002 and 2003.
“We expect a really tough fight from this guy,” Higgins said. “I am not gonna say we didn’t study him, but we are ready for whatever happens that night. Whether it is a brawl, whether we are gonna box, whatever you want. We think this is gonna be an Arturo Gatti versus Micky Ward-type fight. In my eyes that could be blasphemy, because I don’t think I have ever seen anything like that in boxing. I would not be surprised if these two fought each other two or three times, and end up fighting each other for the title later on. This was always the game plan from day one with Sean and me.”
The 36-year-old Barrera (21-2, 14 KOs) and the 37-year-old Monaghan (29-1, 17 KOs) are set to meet in a 10-round light heavyweight bout at Aviator Sports & Events Center.
Fans can watch the Barrera-Monaghan match live via Facebook Watch. It’ll be the main event of a card scheduled to start streaming on Golden Boy’s Fight Night Page at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
The Miami-based Barrera will fight for the first time since WBA light heavyweight champ Dmitry Bivol (14-0, 11 KOs) stopped him in the 12th round March 3 in The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Monaghan, of Long Beach, New York, will attempt to make one last run at a 175-pound title shot, 15 months after unbeaten Staten Island contender Marcus Browne stopped him in the second round of their July 2017 bout in Uniondale, New York.
“He’s one of the most dangerous guys in the world,” Monaghan said. “There’s undefeated guys, with better-looking records than him, who would be a much easier fight than he is. He’s the kind of guy, he takes everybody to deep water. He’ll get dropped, get up and fight even harder. That’s been on my mind this entire training camp. I know I’m gonna have to push myself way harder than I ever have before to get past this guy. The poster has it right – this is a ‘High Stakes’ game for both of us. May the best man win.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.